I recently had a trial flight at Lasham Airfield (east Hants, just off the A339 between Alton and Basingstoke), and it was a brilliant experience - a weird blend of serenity and adrenaline with breathtaking views. It wasn't until I got back down to earth that I realised how much it shared with MX-5 driving as an experience - noisy, fun (despite the comparitively slow speeds compared to higher-performance alternatives), tiny cabin and excellent all-round visibility. It was nothing at all like flying in a commercial aircraft - much more viceral and 'felt', if that makes any kind of sense.
Anyway, included in the cost of my taster lesson was three month's membership of the club so I'll be going along a few times in the next few weeks just to see if it's something that really takes my fancy down the line, and whilst at the clubhouse I noticed that Lasham offer a taster flight discount for groups of 6-20 people.
Just wondering if the idea of a meet somewhere fairly central - Winchester say - and then a jaunt out to Lasham for a group flying lesson is something that might appeal to people. I've not really been all that active within the Solent MX5OC group since becoming an roadster owner last year (despite attending Beaulieu and the Silverstone OPL session of the National Rally), but it'd be a good way for folk to meet up, do the MX-5 thing for a bit then try something a little new. They also have an excellent cafe/restraunt on-site too so anyone not up for the flight could have a cuppa and watch, or we could round the whole thing off with some slap-up grub.
My missus might be interested in giving the flight a try, and there's a chap on MX5Nutz that's also interested - so would just need a couple more people keen to give it a try for this to be a go-er.
The only drawback is that the flight itself isn't exactly a no-cost activity; £50 gets you a 20-30 minute flight with an instructor, including some hands-on stick time where you're in control. It has to be said that my instructor was excellent and was very good at explaining things in a way that meant it didn't sound patronising and did everything he could to find a decent thermal so we were able to gain a bit more height and so spend longer up there than we otherwise would have done. There was no pressure to get back down quick so the next punter could go up, very much aimed to make it an enjoyable experience.
Sure it'd be right up the street of more than a few in the area - anyone fancy it?